Jurgen Klopp was able to name his strongest 11 and that paid dividends with a 3-2 win over City in the first FA Cup semi-final.
Liverpool’s quest for a quadruple of title continues while City’s treble is now a double quest of Premier League and Champions League.
Liverpool started much better than last Sunday though Pep Guardiola had to name a changed team with Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker having copped injuries against Atletico Madrid in midweek. Zach Steffen came in for Ederson while Nathan Ake replaced Aymeric Laporte.
Liverpool got the first goal through Ibrahima Konate, who has scored in the last three games he has started for Liverpool. Konate climbed above Are to head in the first in the ninth minute.
The second was a gift and a catastrophe. Sadio Mane pounced on Steffen’s dawdling to tackle and score the second in the 17th minute.
By this point, red flares cast a glow over Wembley as Liverpool fans celebrated, not quite believing their luck.
Frustrations got the better of Gabriel Jesus as he needlessly tripped Luis Diaz in the 27th minute. Fabinho followed suit in the 37th minute even as much as he tried to get out of Jesus’ way.
Liverpool went 3-0 up on the dot of halftime when Mane was teed up by Thiago Alcantara. Mane’s sliced effort got the beating of Steffen to give the Reds a 3-0 halftime lead.
City responded two minutes into the second half when Jack Grealish received the ball from Jesus and beat Alisson at his near post.
Jesus went one-on-one with Alisson in the 54th minute but the Brazilian goalkeeper smothered the shot for a corner.
City captain Fernandinho caused a fracas in the 56th minute when he wiped out Naby Keita. Referee Michael Oliver kept his cool and brandished a yellow card.
Mane returned the favour in the 61st minute and was also shown a yellow card. Another great chance was created for Jesus in the 70th minute but again Alisson defied his compatriot.
Everything came to a boil in the 90th as Riyad Mahrez’s shot deflected off Alisson and fell into Bernardo Silva’s who tapped in for the second goal but it was all too late after Raheem Sterling’s shot was cuddled by Alisson in the third minute of added time.
The Reds march on while Guardiola will be licking his wounds-stopped again for the third consecutive season in the semi-final.
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